Following in Lindsay Lohan’s footsteps, the Psychic Readers Network is suing Rockstar Games over its Grand Theft Auto: Vice City character, Auntie Poulet, who PRN claims infringes on the copyright of one of their most well-known characters, Miss Cleo.
If you grew up in the late 90s and early 2000s, you should be familiar with Miss Cleo, who was an on-air personality best known for her paid TV advertisements and her catchphrase, “Call me now for a free tarot card reading!”
The fictional Jamaican-born Miss Cleo was played by actual Los Angeles-born actress Youree Dell Davis, who passed away in 2016 at the age of 53. Davis also lent her voice Auntie Poulet in Vice City, who was the leader of the Haitian (not Jamaican) gang and used mind-controlling tea (not tarot cards) to control Tommy Vercetti like a puppet.
In other words, Auntie Poulet has literally nothing in common with Miss Cleo other than the fact that they were played by the same actor. It should be no surprise, then, that Rockstar claims the lawsuit is “entirely meritless and completely ridiculous.”
The amount that the Psychic Readers Network is suing Rockstar for has not been disclosed, though the psychics claim to have invested over $100 million in the Miss Cleo brand since the character premiered in 1998. Auntie Poulet premiered in October 2002, when Vice City was released. That’s almost fifteen whole years. We have to say, for psychics they seem pretty unobservant.
We see a counter-suit in their future.